Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Illinois Legislature Votes to Abolish the Death Penalty

Breaking News: Ten years after former Gov. George Ryan placed a moratorium on the practice of capital punishment, Illinois lawmakers today voted to abolish the death penalty in the Land of Lincoln.

The Illinois State Senate followed the lead of the House and approved the bill (SB 3539) by a 32-25 margin this afternoon. The legislation, if signed by the governor of Illinois, would end the death penalty and redirect money the state pays in death row prosecution and defense
fees ($100 million in the past seven years alone) to support law enforcement training and programs for the families of murder victims. It now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn, where it faces an uncertain future.

Protest of First Texas Execution of 2011 To be Held at 5:30 PM Tuesday
January 11 at Texas Capitol in Austin

UPDATE: Cleve Foster received a last minute stay of execution from U.S. Supreme Court. More than 60 people gathered at the Texas Capitol to protest the execution rejoiced at the news received from a phone call from other protesters gathered in Huntsville.

People opposed to the death penalty will gather today, Jan 11, at the
Texas Capitol at 5:30 PM on the sidewalk at Congress and 11th for a
protest of the first Texas execution of 2011 on the day the Texas
Legislature convenes for its first day in session. Today at 6:00 PM
Cleve "Sarge" Foster is scheduled to be executed in Huntsville by the
state of Texas for a murder that his already executed co-defendant
said Foster did not commit.

Demonstrators will also be calling on the Texas Legislature to enact a
moratorium on executions and address problems in the system that put
innocent people on death row, such as in the cases of Anthony Graves
and Todd Willingham. "If the Texas legislature had enacted a
moratorium on executions in 2003, then Willingham would not have been
wrongfully executed in 2004 based on faulty forensic evidence", said
Scott Cobb, president of Texas Moratorium Network.

Groups participating in the demonstration include Texas Moratorium
Network, Campaign to End the Death Penalty - Austin chapter, Students
Against the Death Penalty and Witness to Innocence.

What: Protest of 1st Execution in Texas in 2011

Date: Tuesday, January 11

Time: 5:30 to 6:30 PM

Place: Texas Capitol on sidewalk at 11th and Congress Avenue
Austin, TX


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